At the intersection of writing and life with the author of the Cameron Ballack mysteries

Monday, November 25, 2013

Questions That Matter

Last week--November 20th, to be exact--was the culmination of a three-part series of split chapels at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, where I presently teach.  One series covered a Christian approach to film, which I've heard was very good. The other series touched on the idea of doubt and posing our questions about faith and God.

While three weeks isn't sufficient to cover every query that plagues every student (and faculty member for that matter), it does give us a starting line from which to engage the questions that are burning in students' hearts. And since I teach in a Christian school, I know that many students are--sadly--afraid to pose their inquiries because they perceive they might get a "doubters" stigma.

Personally, I wish many would throw caution to the wind. Maybe it's part of my personality that I believe in swinging the intellectual punches and prodding the areas of God and faith I don't get, and the heck with what others think. (Yes, I've read too much Philip Yancey, if that's what the accusation is) But I wish questions from others weren't in short audible supply.

Yet students wrote in their questions and we took the top cluster during the half-hour chapel last week. The video is posted above. The chapel lasts thirty-three minutes, but it's worth it if you can hang in there. From left to right are faculty members Tim Holley, L.B. Graham, and Jim Butz, then outside speaker Jeremy Smith, and then faculty members Jason Wilkins, myself, and Andy Shaw.

The questions we dealt with ranged from "How can one say Christianity is the right religion?" (4:00-10:40) to "How can we trust the Bible?" (10:40-16:00), to "Why does evil/pain exist? If God created everything, did he create evil and suffering? If God is sovereign, then why doesn't he fix our problems and hardships?" (16:00-23:00), and finally "How do you explain the contradictions that seem to exist between science and the Bible?" (23:08-28:38)

Hopefully, this can be an encouragement to believers but also invite continued conversations with seekers, doubters, and the spiritually disenchanted. Wherever you are on life's journey, maybe this will help believers and unbelievers connect to hash out some of the ideas raised by these and other questions. None of us claim to have the answers perfectly; the best we can hope for is to make a decent cumulative case that will lead to more clarity and discussion with others.

Pax vobiscum, and happy viewing!

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